A pound of pork shoulder will smoke at a rate of 60 to 80 minutes at 275 F.
As I pride myself on my pork shoulder, I have experimented with this recipe to find the ideal conditions and recipe. During this time, I learned all about the right (and wrong) temperature for smoking meat.
In this post I will show you how long to smoke pork shoulder at 275 and offer tips to make sure that your meat turns out delicious. Let’s begin!
To figure out how long you will need to smoke a pork shoulder at this temperature, you have to first understand the cooking rate. This will allow calculating the cooking time for a pork shoulder of any size and weight.
In general, a pork shoulder will cook at a rate of 60 to 80 minutes per pound.
Therefore, the formula for calculating rate of cooking will look like this:
Cooking time = No. of lbs of pork shoulder x 60
Cooking time = No. of lbs of pork shoulder x 80
With this information, you can determine how long to smoke pork shoulder at 275 with the following weights:
It will take between 5 hours and a little over 6.5 hours to cook a pork shoulder of this size.
It will take between 8 hours and a little more than 10.5 hours for a pork shoulder of this weight.
Also known as Boston butt, this cut of meat cooks at the same rate as pork shoulder.
Thus, you should expect each pound of butt to take between 60 and 80 minutes to smoke.
When it comes to smoking pork shoulder, you can’t go by the cooking time alone. This is because there are so many factors that can affect this rate.
This includes the temperature and size of the pork shoulder, the make and model of the smoker, and even the day’s weather conditions.
This is why I always advise everyone to pay attention to the internal temp instead. This is the only way to know that the meat is truly cooked all the way through.
Always insert a meat probe into the thickest part of the cut to get an accurate reading.
Technically, pork shoulder – and smoked pork butt too – is cooked properly when the meat thermometer registers 145 degrees F.
However, if you want tender pulled pork, you need to cook the meat for longer. You get the best results when the meat is cooked to between 195 and 203 F.
This is yet another reason that you can’t always trust time when it comes to this particular cooking process. Instead, you need to go by the internal temp.
If you have checked out any of my smoked pork shoulder recipes, then you will have seen that I tend to set the temperature for smoking pork at 225 F.
So, considering this, should you smoke pork shoulder at this higher temperature?
Personally, I would advise against this as I feel this temperature is just too high. Keep in mind that the smoking process is all about low and slow cooking.
If you cook the meat at 275 F, yes you will be speeding up the process. However, you will also be exposing the meat to a higher heat.
This can do two things:
First, it can cause the smoking pork shoulder to dry out quickly. Thus, if you are trying to make smoked pulled pork, you will end up with an unappetizing final product.
The other issue is that you aren’t giving the tissues and fat enough time to break down. Therefore, the meat is likely to be quite tough instead of tender – closer to that of pork roast than smoked pulled pork.
If you want to speed up the cooking process but still err on the side of caution, I would suggest setting the temperature to 250 F at most.
If you are quite set on smoking pork shoulder at a higher temperature, then you should follow these tips to ensure that it is cooked to perfection:
I know – you are stuck with the smoker that you have. However, it isn’t a good idea to smoke pork shoulder at a higher temperature with an unreliable smoker.
There is just too much risk of the temp going higher than what is on the dial. This will cause your pork shoulder to dry out and will ruin the meat completely.
It is a good idea to get an accurate idea of how long a pork shoulder will take to cook in your smoker, specifically.
Take a smaller cut – about 2lbs and set the smoker temperature to 275 F. Then, time how long it takes for the meat to hit 145 F and 195 F.
This will serve as a guide for the rate at which a larger cut will smoke at.
I would suggest that you get a hood thermometer if you are planning on preparing smoked pork shoulder at such a high temperature.
This thermometer will give you an accurate reading of the temp inside the cooking chamber. As such, you can ensure that there are no temperature swings that can burn the meat.
There are some smokers that are already equipped with one but it is best not to trust these. They tend to be cheaply built and it is unlikely that you can rely on them.
When the weather is warm, it can cause the temperature inside the cooking chamber to shoot up.
This is something that you should be mindful of. If it is a very warm day, I would suggest setting the temp at 225 or 250 F as the cooking temperature will automatically be higher.
Of course, if you use a hood thermometer you will be able to see the actual temp inside the cooking chamber.
At 275 degrees Fahrenheit, your pork shoulder is going to cook pretty quickly. This means that you have to monitor the internal temperature more carefully.
As a result, it is best to keep the probe in from start to finish. Then, with a quick peek, you will be able to see how the pork shoulder is cooking.
If you have a smart smoker, I would suggest keeping a close watch on the app to monitor the temperature. Otherwise, set an alarm and take a look every 20 minutes to half an hour.
Towards the end of the smoke, I would suggest staying put. The temp can climb rather quickly at this point and keeping an eye on the pork shoulder will prevent it from drying out.
Unless you are dealing with a very large cut – above 6lbs, I would say that there is no need for you to wrap your pork shoulder.
If you are going to smoke pork shoulder at this temperature, though, I would say that this is a good idea.
Unlike in other instances, however, you will not be wrapping the meat to overcome the stall. In fact, at 275 F, it is less likely for meat to hit this plateau.
Instead, what the wrap does is to trap moisture around the meat. This prevents the pork shoulder from drying out.
Just keep in mind that although you may save the pork shoulder, you will be ruining the bark a bit.
If you want to smoke pork shoulder more quickly but don’t want it to dry out, I would suggest alternating the temperature at any point during the cook.
For instance, you can set the temperature at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for the first half of the cook. Then, lower it to 225 F or 250 F for the second half.
Alternatively, you could switch it around – lower temperature for the first half and higher temperature for the rest of the time.
If you are making regular smoked pork shoulder, then you may want to take the meat out at 140 F. Don’t worry due to carryover cooking, the shoulder will continue cooking.
Therefore, by the time that it is done resting, it will be at the perfect temperature.
In case you are making pulled pork, make certain to take the meat out of the smoker at 195 F on the dot.
Then, rest until the internal temp is at the desired point, shred, and serve with barbecue sauce.
Yes, you can but it isn’t advised as the meat can dry out when cooked at a higher temperature.
Butt cooks at the same rate as pork shoulder. As such, one pound will cook at a rate of 60 to 80 minutes.
There you have it – how long to smoke pork shoulder at 275 degrees Fahrenheit! Remember, you do have to be careful when smoking meat at this this temperature. Thus, you should follow the guidelines I have laid out here to make sure that everything goes out without a hitch.